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  • Writer's picturePlymouth Wright

Bookkeeping 101: Your guide for small business basics

Updated: May 15

Bookkeeping serves as the foundation of your financial systems for small businesses, impacting their growth and prosperity. It encompasses various day-to-day tasks, such as data entry, transaction categorization, managing accounts receivable, and overseeing payroll.

Utilizing accounting software allows much of these tasks to be managed independently, although as your small business expands, you might choose to delegate some basic bookkeeping responsibilities to an online service.

Here's a condensed guide to small-business bookkeeping and initiating the process:

  1. Setting up Accounting Software: Begin by inputting your business information, linking bank accounts, and granting access to your accountant. Ensure your chart of accounts is organized appropriately.

  2. Selecting an Entry System: Decide between single- or double-entry accounting, which influences financial management and bookkeeping procedures.

  3. Choosing an Accounting Method: Opt for cash or accrual basis accounting, each presenting different financial reporting perspectives.

  4. Managing Transactions: This involves accurately categorizing, reconciling, and recording transactions according to your chosen entry system and accounting method.

  5. Handling Accounts Receivable and Payable: Send estimates and invoices promptly, track due dates, and settle bills on time to maintain financial stability.

  6. Establishing Payroll: Depending on your preference and the size of your workforce, integrate payroll processing into your accounting software or subscribe to a dedicated payroll service.

  7. Coordinating with Tax Specialists: Collaborate with tax advisors to prepare and file tax returns and leverage small-business tax deductions effectively.

  8. Maintaining Financial Statements and Documents: Keep meticulous records of transactions, bills, invoices, and receipts for accurate reporting and easy reference, facilitated by accounting software.

Small-business owners have several options for managing bookkeeping tasks:

  1. Self-Management: Utilize accounting software for streamlined bookkeeping, though ensure commitment to regular upkeep.

  2. Online Bookkeeping Service: Outsource bookkeeping responsibilities, communicating remotely and selecting services based on your needs.

  3. In-House Bookkeeper: Employ a bookkeeper for direct involvement in your business's financial management, considering their expertise and fit with your organization.

Bookkeeping is vital for small businesses as it provides an accurate financial overview, separates personal and business finances, identifies errors early, streamlines tax processes, monitors financial health, and simplifies administrative tasks like loan applications or equipment purchases.

Speak with the experts at Plymouth Wright to learn how we can optimize you bookkeeping needs.


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